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horsenaround 04-02-2008 11:00 AM

I need your advice on weight gain *pics added*
We have a mare arriving tomorrow who is 20 and malnourished. Her current owners can and I quote "no longer afford to feed her" so they didnt stop they just slowed way down. So she is very underweight.

Any one have any advice on bringing this girl back upt o a healthy weight? I have never been through this before so all advice is welcome.

This girl is about 20, she is dead broke with no bad habits however she is so under wight that she cant be ridden.

I found out about her on our local Craig's list. Her owners had posted her there for $500. I emailed them to please make sure that they found her a good home because out here at that price they would no doubt get allot of interest. I asked them to contact the local rescue and perhaps have the rescue place her.
They emailed me back that if I could afford to feed her they would give her to me. Ummm yikes, ok.
So tonight I fired off an email to a local rescue asking for tips as well as posting here and another horse forum I frequent. Depending on how bad off she is I may still hand her off to the rescue as I only want what is best for her and being out of that situation by any means necessary was best for her in my opinion.
We are supposed to pick her up tomorrow night. I will post pics and more info then.
Thanks in advance any weight gaining tips.

Edited to add:
Her hooves are ATROCIOUS!
The lady said she was kicked in her rear fetlock about 4 weeks ago by another horse. She says the swelling has decreased allot in the past few weeks. It is obviously swollen and she is limping. The poor girl just looks so awful, still beautiful but awful.
Also, what breed is she? any thoughts? She is Grulla in color which is interesting but I dont know the differences in the breeds well enough to venture what she is and I didnt ask the lady I got her from as she really didnt seem to care.
I didnt even know what color she was when i agreed to her coming here, I just knew she could not stay where she was.
Any way, here she the way, she also needs a name. The lady said she had never really given her one. They just called her baby....she calls all of her horses baby.
I haltered her up and she stood for me, even lowered her head into the halter.

SonnyWimps 04-02-2008 12:03 PM

I'd definately offer her free choice hay, and grain her twice a day...and include in the grain extra corn and some beet pulp. I'm not too knowlegable on this sort of stuff, but I do know that corn and beet pulp should help her gain weight

NorthernMama 04-02-2008 01:19 PM

Re: I need your advice on weight gain
Feed her small amounts of whatever pelleted/grained food you find is best for her many times a day. Horses are designed to eat small amounts. So if you give her 4 cups of feed, divide it into 4 feedings of 1 cup each if you can. Let her eat as much hay as she wants and make sure she has lots of water. Watch her eat to see if she may have need of floating and she may need to be wormed also.

I took in a young underweight and fed her 17% pellets until the weight gain was steady, then reduced her to 12%. But, keep in mind, I never worked her while she was so thin - just walked her in hand. Since your girl is older, you may need to add beet pulp to help her out -- it's important to keep the beet pulp feedings small and very wet until she gets the idea that she doesn't need to worry about having enough food. She may gulp her food and then risk choking. If she does eat too fast, put some LARGE stones or pieces of salt block in her feed pail to slow her down.

kim_angel 04-02-2008 01:36 PM

what also worked for my mare was rice bran. wet it down with water, mixed with whatever grain you give her. You might want to consider a "senior" feed.

kim_angel 04-02-2008 01:37 PM

Also, wanted to add...

thank you for saving this horses life! :D

ahearn 04-02-2008 02:44 PM

I put my malnourished rescue horse on Equine Senior with one fourth to a cup of vegetable oil over it as well as Free Balance mineral supplements as he was very dehydrated. I also had to get his teeth done and have 3 removed. He has since gained about 150 lbs and it's only been 2 and a half months!! He's looking so good and finally getting some muscle definition!

Good luck and good for you for rescuing!! Any more questions let me know!!

Rebelismylove 04-02-2008 03:51 PM

When I bought my gelding as a yearling he was under weight, I put him on weight builder. It worked wonders, however I haven't tried it on older horses though I'm sure that it won't hurt her. But I agree with ahearn and go with senior feed.

BriLeigh 04-02-2008 03:53 PM

Beet pulp and rice bran are both really good. I would also suggest maybe a ration balancer? You need to make sure she gets everything she needs to be healthy.

Delregans Way 04-04-2008 05:15 AM

I would suggest free access to hay, also because she is lacking in minerals, maybe a mineral supplement.
Hows her teeth?
I would also suggest "SPEEDI-BEET" its a great weight gaining feed.

She looks like a sweety, and once again, thank you for saving a life :)

kitten_Val 04-04-2008 06:44 AM

northernmama gave the great advice. If you can feed her several times a day smaller amounts rather than twice a day big scoop (I know with work and all it's not always manageable). I gave my underweight youngsters 12% sweet feed mixed with half-cup corn oil, but since she's in 20th you may consider pelleted food.

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